OU football defensive end Ronnell Lewis out for bowl game, likely headed to NFL

BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Modified: December 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm •  Published: December 19, 2011

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops' first news conference since the Dec. 3 Bedlam blowout was full of, well, news.

Stoops said he thinks defensive end Ronnell Lewis is the only starter that will be unable to play in the Dec. 30 Insight Bowl because of academics. He said he expects Lewis, a junior from Dewar, to enter the NFL Draft.

“We've talked, and I feel it's in his best interest to go on to the NFL,” Stoops said. “It hasn't been formalized yet, but we expect that to happen. And I'm all for it. He needs to do that. We're hopeful that will all go the right way.”

Lewis had 59 tackles (5 1/2 sacks) this season, emerging as a strong part of the OU defense. He has been projected by some, including ESPN's Mel Kiper, as a potential first-round pick.

Here's a look at what else came out of Stoops' news conference:

WILLIAMS TO TRANSFER

Stoops on Monday confirmed that freshman running back Brandon Williams has been granted a release from his scholarship. Sources said over the weekend, and reports surfaced Monday, that Williams will transfer to Texas A&M.

Stoops said he was not surprised by Williams' decision, considering Williams' desire to be closer to family. Williams, sources have said, has a young daughter. He is from Brookshire, on the west side of Houston.

Two sources said this past weekend that another running back, sophomore Brennan Clay, is also considering a transfer. But Stoops said Monday that Clay is expected to play in the bowl game.

“That's the first I've heard of it,” Stoops said. “Rumors, I'm not going to get into that.”

Stoops said there could be other transfers, but he would not elaborate until the start of the next semester, in January.

Sophomore Roy Finch is also expected to play against Iowa, despite a recent citation for damaging an acquaintance's computer. Stoops said Monday he knew of no reason why Finch would not be eligible, making no mention of the minor legal issue.

REYNOLDS, RIPKOWSKI TO MISS BOWL GAME

Stoops also noted the injuries the school revealed a week ago in a release. He said receiver Jaz Reynolds, who injured a kidney during the Oklahoma State game, is expected to play football again. Stoops did say, though, that the sophomore and his family are weighing options about whether it would be safe for him to continue playing.

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